Veterans Bring the War Home to Chicago…

I realize it might be a good idea to update this wordpress with my writing  from other websites….

Reposted from Chicago Art Magazine:

The other day while walking to Lincoln Square, I couldn’t help but notice the newly placed political street art on boarded storefronts. A closer inspection of these paste-ups revealed the url IVAW.org, so naturally I went home to see what google could tell me. I was surprised, and a little heartbroken, to find absolutely no mainstream coverage of National Veterans Art Museum’s  November initiative “Chicago in War”, or their  participating organizations  Iraq Veterans Against the War and Just Seeds Artists Cooperative.

The Operation Exposure paste-ups showing up around town are a collaboration between Just Seeds and Iraq Veterans Against the War and are meant to accompany an exhibit at the Mess Hall.  The IVAW website states “Chicago in War” is a series of events, art exhibits, and performances designed to foster conversation between veterans and civilians.

Over a brief phone conversation, veteran and artist Aaron Hughes explained Operation Exposure as a way of “getting the word out on the street” and “what better way to change the landscape than by putting up stories of soldiers”.

A close-up of the paper plaque on the right, featuring 29 year old Rodney Watson, can be viewed here. Additional photos of Operation Exposure can be found on flickr at the Just Seeds flickr set here, and  here.

Besides Operation Exposure, Aaron Hughes has curated a show titled “Intrusive Thoughts” at the National Veterans Art Museum, on display until May 2011.  After Aaron Hughes’ first exhibit in 2006 at the then called National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, Hughes eventually went on to chair the museum’s art committee. “Intrusive Thoughts” is the first exhibit at the newly named National Veterans Art Museum and took Hughes about six months to curate. Read the rest of this entry »